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GfK in South Africa

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers' experiences and choices.

GfK, South Africa

Offices in South Africa

  • GfK

    Cnr Witkoppen Rd & Umhlanga Ave.
    Dalmore Bldg. 1st Floor, Kildrummy Office Park
    011 803 1300

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Latest insights

Here you can find the latest news, studies and publications from GfK South Africa.

View all insights from GfK South Africa

    • 02/03/16
    • Press
    • Media Measurement
    • Digital Market Intelligence
    • South Africa
    • English

    GfK becomes newest member of IAB South Africa

    GfK joins IAB South Africa in support of the local digital industry
    • 01/21/16
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Technology
    • Media Measurement
    • South Africa
    • English

    Is it a Netflix world after all?

    Netflix’s recent announcement of their international expansion in 2016 is not unexpected, but still somewhat breathtaking in its scope. While it may seem natural to those in the United States, where Netflix holds a dominant position in the Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) space and in other early markets where it is a well-known brand, but this latest overseas growth is not as much “a sure thing” elsewhere.

    Eight key concerns for entering developing markets

    Certainly Netflix will enter these new markets with a well-known brand name, which may be less connected to its actual content than to the fact that US-originating digital brands often have a leg-up on local brands. Netflix will generally appeal to affluent, Western-oriented consumers outside of the North American and Western European markets. But Netflix will have a number of concerns when entering these other developing markets that make up much of the dozens being added. These include:
    • Local competitors in the Pay TV or streaming space may themselves have a dominant position. GfK works with a number of providers in the markets in which Netflix has newly launched to understand how their services are consumed. We often see a large cohort of subscribers actively viewing the kind of on-demand content that Netflix dominates in the US. These are consumers who are well served by streaming or on-demand content. For example, local South East Asian player iFlix has already built up an impressive half million subscribers in a short space of time.
    • The streaming rights to local content of interest may be held exclusively by other services.
    • The streaming rights to even Netflix’ own content may still be controlled by other providers, based on older agreements.
    • Netflix’ original, exclusive Western-focused content may not have an appeal in different cultures. Again, GfK’s work in providing Return Path Data (RPD) services have taught us that local content is absolutely crucial in building a strong customer base – even in markets where the kind of Western-oriented programming in which Netflix concentrates is popular. Netflix itself recognizes this by focusing much of its strategy on creating local content for its various markets.
    • There may be local laws regarding a certain level of locally originating content.
    • Internet access in certain countries may be limited across the population or intermittent.
    • The governments or entities controlling Internet access may arbitrarily cut access based on disagreement with content, or may use such power to censor or control what content is offered.
    • In many markets, particularly in APAC, advertiser-supported or illegal websites are often well established as sources for watching video content. So there may be resistance to paying for content that consumers have traditionally accessed by other ‘free’ means.

    Netflix’s big data advantage

    That being said, Netflix has consistently outperformed expectations of industry experts and those in the financial markets. Its daring moves in the past have mostly panned out. And, aside from content, it has an understanding of its consumers – through the use of its own collected big data – with which few of its potential competitors can hope to compare. As for its competitors, frenemies, and partners – some being all three – the growth of Netflix raises questions that only third-party accounting of Netflix can answer. This way their competition or partnership with Netflix is on a more level playing field. What do you think about Netflix’s expansion? Do you see other challenges? I would like to hear your opinion as well.
    For more information, please contact me at
    • 01/06/16
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • South Africa
    • English

    As curious as the dark side of the individual

    Segmentations can be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses, providing strong platforms for innovation and a targeted approach to customer relations. However the strength of segmentation hinges on the level of similarity between the individuals in each segment. The greater the similarity the more comprehensively the group represents its’ individuals and as such the more accurately it predicts their behavior. The more angles that we can describe the individual from the more points of similarity we can draw between them. Each individual angle is only part of the picture of the individual, like the sun shining on the moon. The majority of segmentations are based around one angle; the articulated views of an individual, what they say they do, what they think, what they want etc… However there are a couple of inherent problems with this, firstly articulation statements can be very hard to write, and must be carefully thought out in order to ensure they resonate and are interpreted in the same way for consumers, particularly across international borders. Take the statement “It is important to me to eat healthily”; there are a number of areas that this statement can be open to interpretation by the respondent; what is the definition of healthy? How important does it have to be? The second major issue with an articulated segmentation is that it is all based around a respondent’s view of themselves as opposed to an impartial third party view of them. A respondent may say that eating healthily is important to them however if we looked at their shopping bills we might see that they buy a below average amount of fruit and vegetables. By looking at consumers from the articulated angle we don’t see an accurate picture of their actions. Experiments in behavioral economics have routinely shown that the gap between our view of ourselves and the truth is wider than we think. A shining example of this is consumers’ understanding of mobile tariff usage; despite the myriad of different ways to track data usage, the vast majority overestimate how much it is that they use. For a complete picture of the individual we must take into account this discrepancy between perception and behavior. An example of this would be m-commerce; to identify the leading edge consumers you don’t want to look at those that say they are happy to make payments through their mobile you want to look at those that already do.

    But there are a number of different ways we can look at the individual from a behavioral angle;

    Consumers can report their behavior and this is often the most cost effective way of collecting behavioral data; however it needs to be done carefully to avoid the pitfalls above. Questions need clear parameters and to be strictly reporting as opposed to summarizing or predictive.

    Take activity frequency:

    1. How many times have you been swimming in the last month?
    as opposed to;
    1. On average how many times a year do you go swimming?
    1. How many times will you go swimming in the next year?

    There are a variety of other ways to build the behavioral angle but the availability of these can vary greatly by market:

    • Data from passive monitoring of smartphones, geo-tagging and browser recording
    • Qualitative ethnography can give an independent observation of the individual
    • Customer data such as sales can be used by organizations to provide rich understanding of an individuals’ specific interaction with the brand. Particularly useful when designing a segmentation that can be integrated back into a client database
    A purely behavioral based segmentation however is also a floored concept because it does not acknowledge the importance of the idealized self. The idealized self is a product of our aspirations and these are what drive purchases. We may see ourselves as a bit of a foodie and so will be drawn to the look of the fridge advertised alongside bottles of wine and wheels of stilton. We convince ourselves that we definitely need the ambient section for storing Merlot at optimum temperature, even if our appliance rarely sees anything more adventurous than Carlsberg and Baby Bell. The aspirational self is a key part of the marketing and messaging value of segmentation. It is essential to understand the consumer not just from your own perspective but theirs’s as well.

    The most powerful segmentations therefore will have the most rounded view of the individual including;

    • Company understanding of the way in which a consumer interacts with its products
    • Consumers’ perception of how they feel and what they want
    • Consumers’ reported behaviors
    • Observation of consumer behavior
    For more information please contact Samuel Carter at
    • 12/15/15
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Geomarketing
    • South Africa
    • English

    Purchasing power: All-rounder among market indicators

    There’s no limit these days to the volume and type of data that companies use to improve their competitiveness. Much of this data is unique to the industry in question, but some market indicators such as purchasing power have nearly universal application. A measure of the population’s disposable income, purchasing power data is the primary benchmark for determining consumer potential. So why is this market indicator so valuable and versatile? Simply put, purchasing power shows companies and manufacturers where the population has sufficient disposable income to spend on retail purchases. And even more importantly, good purchasing power data shows how this disposable income varies throughout the entire market and at different regional levels such as municipalities and postcodes.

    Exploiting more potential through regional insights

    Let’s now look at how purchasing power data can help a consumer electronics retailer who sells products via chain stores throughout Europe. Optimally placing and managing these stores requires precise, up-to-date knowledge on how the product potential tracks across regional markets. The retailer happens to know that Europeans have roughly €9 trillion to spend in 2015, but this information alone is useless. This is where our purchasing power data comes into play. Our data offers a highly textured breakdown of the geographic distribution of this wealth. It’s not enough for our retailer to work with composite figures and rough averages, because actual purchasing power amounts fluctuate dramatically from country to country, municipality to municipality, and even postcode to postcode. So where does the retailer start? A good first step is to assess the relative wealth in the areas around the chain stores. This has a direct effect on how the retailer should optimize the product mix for each location. A quick look at the data reveals that Liechtenstein is a veritable purchasing power dynamo, with 4.5 times the average disposable income. Our retailer has two stores in this area, so a good move would be to offer a larger selection of high-end products at these locations. If the two stores are not fully tapping the available potential, the retailer can consider opening up some additional stores in this country, strategically positioning them in municipalities and postcodes with especially high purchasing power.

    Boosting turnover & market share with geomarketing

    The retailer also has stores in Central European markets, such as Poland, which has shown signs of rapid retail growth. But unfortunately the retailer’s stores in that country have not be able to capitalize on this trend. Another look at the data shows why: All of the retailer’s stores are in districts with below average purchasing power by Poland’s standards. The retailer now has several options. It can open stores in some of the districts with higher purchasing power, such as Sopot, Piaseczynski or Warsaw, the latter of which has almost 83 percent more purchasing power than the rest of the country. Alternatively, the retailer can adjust its product mix at the existing locations to better appeal to the surrounding demographic. Up until now, the retailer has been using the same or similar marketing campaigns for all of its stores. Using the purchasing power data, marketing campaigns and POS promotions can now be tailored on a store-by-store basis to the income level and purchase affinity of the nearby population. The retailer can also use the purchasing power data to more objectively measure the performance of its stores in each of its active countries and regions. Previously, the retailer had no way of gauging what a good result was for the markets where its stores are located. For example, the retailer knew its best-performing store in France was in Paris and its worst performing in Pas-de-Calais. But this knowledge was meaningless without insight into how these performances relate to the market potential in those areas. Using the purchasing power data, the retailer discovered that Paris has an average per-capita purchasing power of €29,433 (more than twice the European average), while Pas-de-Calais has just €15,688. Thanks to these precise, regionally sensitive numbers, the retailer can more accurately gauge both individual store performance and how those performances compare as a percentage of the total local market.

    About GfK Purchasing Power

    Purchasing power data is the ideal foundational market indicator for users across all industries, from retail and real estate to automotive and tourism. Users can easily supplement purchasing power with additional market indicators, such as retail turnover potential and purchasing power for specific product lines. GfK Purchasing Power Europe is calculated annually for 42 European countries and provides comprehensive coverage down to the level of municipalities and postcodes, as well as data on inhabitants and households. GfK’s Geomarketing solutions also include digital maps and other market data that fit seamlessly with the purchasing power data. For more information on GfK’s Geomarketing offering, visit
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GfK, South Africa